What is innovation?

Innovation is the development and application of ideas that improve the way things are done or what can be achieved. Innovation may result in new products or services, new or improved business processes, changes in the way your products are marketed or the introduction of new technology.

Innovation can help your business grow by improving productivity and efficiency. Your ability to innovate will also help your business to remain competitive and respond to changes.

Types of innovation

Innovation in business generally falls into the following categories:

Product or service – developing new products or services, enhancing existing products or services, or introducing technology.

Process – improving operational processes such as financial systems, human resource management, internal methodologies and information and communications technology (ICT).

Marketing – how products or services are promoted and the channels used to distribute them.

Business model – revising the structure of a business or developing strategic relationships with suppliers, distributors and customers.

How to foster innovation in your business

Innovation doesn’t just happen; it is something that needs to be encouraged. You can foster innovation by:

  • encouraging your staff to provide ideas and be creative
  • rewarding innovative thinking
  • seeking feedback from your customers
  • building innovation into your strategic and operation planning
  • investing in resources that promote innovation
  • undertaking research and development activities

Innovation is about taking calculated risks that require you to adapt to change and respond quickly to new opportunities.

Protecting your innovation

If you intend to commercialise your innovation it is important to protect the intellectual property associated with your idea or invention.

Find out more about how to protect your intellectual property.

More information